Neither Sen. Jon Ossoff nor Sen. Raphael Warnock is up for reelection this year — the former will run again in 2026 and the latter in 2028. But 2024 is off to a busy start for both senators. In this recurring digital news series, GPB follows your federal tax dollars back to the state of Georgia each week.

For the week ending May 31, 2024, Warnock and Ossoff worked on protecting national security at the southern border, urging Delta Air Lines leadership not to hinder workers' unionization efforts, calling out pharmaceutical companies for high medication prices, and addressing law enforcement shortages.


Border security

On May 23, Ossoff issued a statement after Senate Republicans blocked the chance for debate over the bipartisan border security legislation in a 50-43 vote.

The Border Act would address the threats of terrorism to U.S. national security linked to the unlawful entry problems occurring at the southern border.

“Every day Congress fails to pass a border security measure, the risk increases. Yet today, Senate Republicans blocked the Senate even from debating and considering amendments to the bipartisan Border Act, which would have rushed enforcement resources to the border, tightened asylum standards, expedited the removal of those who abuse the asylum system to enter the country unlawfully, and hired more Border Patrol officers.” Sen. Jon Ossoff in his statement

Ossoff also wrote that Senate Republicans are “bent on pressure” from former President Donald Trump not to intervene with the border so Trump can use the matter as an election issue in his campaign.

“As Republican Sen. James Lankford, a coauthor of the Border Act, recently said on Fox News, ‘President Trump said don’t fix anything during the presidential election,’” he said.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (middle) at a May 23 news conference shortly after Senate Republicans failed to allow debate for the Border Act legislation.

Sen. Raphael Warnock at a May 23 news conference shortly after Senate Republicans failed to allow debate for the Border Act legislation.

Credit: Screenshot

Warnock also delivered a statement on the matter during a news conference with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

 “There’s a lot that we need to have in this conversation, but today was an opportunity to move forward on securing the American border, which is fundamental to our job, and unfortunately, our colleagues have walked away. The question is, who will stand up for the American people? Who will fight for common sense immigration reform? Who will secure the border? Who will give Dreamers a path? And who will actually have the courage to have a conversation? To be serious about something that really is serious.” – Sen. Raphael Warnock

On May 29, Ossoff visited the southern border at Texas and New Mexico, where he inspected the Paso del Norte port of entry, “the area of operations for Border Patrol’s El Paso [Texas] station, and detention facilities,” per a press release.

During the visit, he again warned of the threat of terrorism without the Border Act legislation., following the failure of the Senate Republicans voting not to hear the legislation for debate.

“Congress must act, and the Biden administration must use its executive authorities to the greatest extent possible to protect the nation,” Ossoff said in a statement.


Delta unionization

On May 23, Warnock urged Delta Air Lines leadership via letter not to hinder non-unionized workers' organization efforts to improve working conditions on the job.

Warnock's letter comes while Delta employees are considering joining a labor union. In his letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian, Warnock asks that Delta not interfere or pressure the voting workers as they decide whether to unionize.

"When these organizing efforts and elections occur, there are often unfortunate reports of threats or other undue pressure being placed on workers who will be voting. It has been a priority of mine, both before coming to the Senate and since my election, to do all I can to promote free and fair elections. That applies whether an election is for state, local, or federal office, or on the topic of whether workers will vote to support or oppose joining a labor union." – Sen. Raphael Warnock


Pharmaceutical companies

On May 21, at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Ossoff called out pharmaceutical companies "abusive practices" in keeping the prices of medications for Georgians high. 

During the committee, Ossoff told the stories of Georgians who struggle to pay for medications while stressing the "importance of addressing the monopolistic practices that often drive up prices and limit consumer choices," per a press release.

Ossoff urged his Senate colleagues to focus on bipartisan legislation, which he co-sponsored, to boost competition amongst companies and reduce the cost of medications.

"The prices that Georgians are paying for prescriptions are outrageous," Ossoff said at the hearing. "The tremendous lobbying power of the pharmaceutical industry is a major driver of the outrageous prices that Americans pay. We made big progress capping the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare Part D at $35/month, finally empowering Medicare to undertake some negotiation with pharma over prices, but we have a long way to go."


Hartsfield-Jackson Airport takeover

On May 24, Warnock celebrated the provision he secured in the 2024 Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill protecting the local control of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL).

Per a press release, Warnock's provision "provides additional protections and clarity in the event that the state legislature attempts to wrestle control of ATL away from the City of Atlanta, as it often threatens."

The provision came after the Georgia Legislature passed a measure in 2019 to take control over ATL from the city of Atlanta. It now makes it harder for the FAA to support a takeover from the state.

"Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in the world, connecting tens of millions of travelers to the incredible history, culture, and businesses that make up 'The A.' It's only right that the City of Atlanta continues to control this gateway to the city. My provision helps protect millions in revenue flowing from Hartsfield-Jackson to Atlanta and helps enable the city to continue supporting minority-owned small businesses." – Sen. Raphael Warnock in a statement


Law enforcement shortages

On May 28, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by Ossoff, that would create federal grants to help law enforcement agencies hire more agents.

According to a press release, the legislation "would help agencies hire experienced personnel for tasks that do not require a sworn officer."

Those tasks include the following and more:

  • Homicide
  • Carjacking
  • Financial crimes investigations
  • Reviewing camera footage
  • Conducting crime scene analysis

"I hear consistently from sheriffs and police chiefs across Georgia about dangerous staffing shortages that threaten public safety in communities across the state," Ossoff said in a statement. "We are working on a bipartisan basis to help law enforcement agencies hire retired personnel for key positions and strengthen public safety across the state."

The Senate floor will now take the bill under consideration.